Written by: Ricky Locci
I’m not going to lie. Getting started is the hardest part.
You’ve probably tried a million things, and nothing seems to work. Heck, you’ve probably seen articles like this before. They make it sound so simple. Just stop eating junk food and start exercising! Easy! Right?
In theory - yes. In practice - no.
So, from me to you here’s 5 concrete and broken-down steps that will jump start your health journey.
Change the foods you keep in the house
Simply put there’s red light foods, yellow light foods, and green light foods.
Red - Anything (healthy or not) that you binge on. These binge foods are no longer kept in your house. Doesn’t mean you can have them ever. It just means you’re going to have them a lot less.
Yellow - Anything “non-goal oriented” that you still have self-control around. These foods can stay but only if you don’t feel the urge to eat them all.
Green - All the veggies, all the protein, all the healthy carbs, all the healthy fat. Surround yourself with them. Make them easy to access.
EAT A FULL MEAL before you go grocery shopping.
This one is related to Step 1. It’ll help keep those red-light foods out of the house. What also helps is shopping on the outside perimeter of the grocery store. Keeps you away from those pesky (yet yummy) processed foods.
Yes, it matters. Start with 15 minutes 3 times a week (98% of people can find time for that). Park far away from the grocery store. Park far away at the gym (are you really looking for the closest spot when you’re headed in to run on the treadmill). Take your dog and kids on a walk! It's good for them too! Put it in your calendar like a meeting for work (you probably rarely miss those). Practice prioritizing time for physical activity. If you’re lucky it could eventually turn into exercise. But you need to start anywhere.
Easy way is to follow some fitness professionals on social media. (Not the ones who are only shirtless and flexing…which I type knowing I posted a shirtless photo today). But the ones who are actually out there educating people and clearing out the crap. How to spot them? They won’t be selling you apparel or a billion products. They do question and answer posts. They talk about their clients. They post more than workouts and selfies. (PS my Instagram is @ricky_locci) lol. You know you spend too much time on social media anyways. Might as well learn something good for you.
Get some accountability.
Personally, for me it was a trainer. But having a gym or health buddy is undeniably helpful. I think some of my most successful clients are people that are on their health journey with a partner. It can be a friend, a trainer, a coworker, your kid(s), your spouse - anybody! Just find someone who wants to make sustainable health changes just like you do and cheer each other on.
Now to be clear those are steps to get started…it is just the beginning; not the destination. Healthy living is a lifelong journey that changes as your life does. Be flexible, constantly learn, and roll with the punches.
Also, there is one more super important element to a sustainable healthy journey. In my opinion, the biggest thing that you can do is…Budget. for healthy living.
I’m going to say that again - Budget.
Budget yourself $200 a month to spend on your health and get educated. Especially if you want quicker results. It’s important.
Be okay with spending some money on You. Your health, your body, and your mind will thank you.
Being physically active adds to your life when you do it in a sustainable and slow way. The problem most people run into is they go from doing absolutely nothing to going 100%. You have gone from eating out every meal, not watching what you’re eating, and not working out to working out 5-6 times a week and doing WHOLE 30. These extreme methods are not sustainable. You are setting yourself up for failure.
These 5 Steps to start your fitness and healthy journey are a great place to start. Take is slow. Start small, and build on the healthy habits you create. From there you can turn it into a healthy lifestyle. Who know you may even like it!?
About the Author
Ricky Locci - Certified Personal Trainer (NASM), Certified Nutrition Coach (Precision Nutrition Level 2), Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA), Doctor of Physical Therapy Graduate Student, Masters of Public Health Graduate Student (Northwestern University)
Learn more about Ricky or sign up to work with him at Fitting In Fitness. You can also visit his IG page @ricky_locci